The Pity of Prayerlessness

Do prayers matter?

I saw an article headline about the prayerlessness of Christians. Strange that we should be a prayerless people. I am sometimes a prayerless person, too. I am being honest, and I think we should all be honest with ourselves. After all, denial is not just some river in Egypt.

My mind can wallow away on stress and worries, until it works its way into depression and/or anger. My imagination can carry me any place I direct it, and I can imagine every worse case, or best case, scenario. Yet, to pray, my mind can instantly want to take a nap. This alone should be proof enough how important prayer is. Resistance is evidence.

Why do we view prayer as a chore, instead of desiring and appreciating it as an opportunity and blessing to commune with our Creator, the God of the universe who made heaven and earth? Sometimes I can spend more time thinking about prayer (I ought to pray, why don’t I pray, I’ll pray later, wallowing in conviction and self-condemnation, guilt) than actually praying.

Jesus set the example with His prayer habits. Early in the morning, while it was still dark, He would arise. He prayed before raising the dead, breaking bread, sweating blood, giving thanks, and dying.

The disciples asked, “Lord, teach us to pray.”  Could it be they, too, felt like prayer is a chore when it shouldn’t be? Like it was powerless petitions? Thoughtless mumblings?

Father, I thank You for Your Holy Spirit who prays for and through me and nudges me to come away to the secret place and meet You there.

I have said prayer is having a conversation with God, like when we talk to someone we love, a spouse or a friend. But its not as cavalier as that, and perhaps that’s why I (we) struggle with prayer, because it is divine, touching His throne, grabbing the hem of His garment; it takes effort, a humbling, a posturing. To sanctify our heart to Him is an undoing of self, admitting our weakness, repenting of our sins, and trusting the One who we can not see. After all, isn’t that what faith is? But without faith it is just lip service. Is it any wonder why our prayers go unanswered?

While there are seasons when we don’t know what to pray, our faith is battered, our mind is weak; it is then that the Holy Spirit carries us and interceded for us. Aren’t you thankful?

Lord, let us find the true strength of raising our arms and bending our knee in reverence, knowing You, but not treating You as common, with thanksgiving, because we can lift our head to the King of kings, knowing You hear us, and we call You Father.

Be Free & Stay Free

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